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Should I Change My Mobile Phone / Plan? Should I Change My Mobile Phone / Plan? (Part 1/3)
1 January, 2001
By Daniel Cheung

The beginning of a new year - time to come up with your list of "new year resolutions"? Well, we suggest that you begin with cutting the unnecessary costs of 2000 by reconsidering your mobile phone and / or mobile phone plan. Your mobile phone plan could be out of date, and thus you could be paying a lot more than what you need for your purposes. Or perhaps your actual resolution is getting a new mobile phone - in that case what is best for you? This month, we show you what to look out for when assessing / buying your mobile phone / plan.

  Using a Mobile Phone is now cheaper than ever before.

Using a mobile phone is now cheaper than ever before. In the last couple of years, the proliferation of pre-pay mobile phones has meant that the mobile phone has shifted from being a luxury item to being a necessity. With so many more users, the networks of Australia have been able to pass on price cuts to consumers. Thus it may seem that you cannot go wrong when purchasing a new mobile phone. However, with the myriad or plans available, what should you consider before making the choice of mobile phones / plans? This month we offer a Ten Step Plan for covering all bases when assessing a mobile phone / plan purchase.

1. Everyone is Different

The most important rule to getting a good mobile phone deal is to know exactly how you will use your mobile phone. You need to anticipate the time of day that you use the phone, the days of the week you make your calls, the types of numbers you will ring, and even the number of days a month your phone stays idle. In each of these categories, you need to know how many minutes of calls you make. You also have to anticipate how many voicemail messages you might get, since these are charged by network carriers also.

2. Check out the Networks

There are four main steps to buying a mobile phone. You have to choose a handset, a network carrier, a way to pay your bills and a price plan. Depending on your personal preferences, the importance of these vary. For instance, if you are very busy and would only like to pay via telephone billing, only those carriers with telephone billing services should be looked at.

However, in general, assuming that you are most concerned about the quality of service and the comparative price, we suggest that you should look at the network carriers first. A useful tip is to isolate the areas where you use your mobile phone the most - at work, home or on the way to either. Get the postcodes and visit mobile phone dealers to see which network has transmission stations nearby. Another useful way is to ask friends about coverage in the areas you are interested in.

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